Our photo shoot on Michael Ellard’s mind-blowing Holden Rodeo minitruck was featured in the last issue of Street Machine magazine, which was on sale last month. This thing boasted so much detail that it transcended being merely any typical truck. There’s also an interesting story that goes with the shoot (well, interesting to me, anyway!) and says a lot about Michael and his mates.
I drove from my home-base on the NSW mid-north coast to Sydney for the shoot in my trusty VS Commodore and made it all the way to the driveway where Michael works. I parked and got out to introduce myself when another guy mentioned he was leaving and I could take his spot if I liked (I was parking him in). Getting back in to move the VS, the car spluttered, but didn’t start. I tried again, thinking the angle the car was on, or the heat from the March afternoon and Sydney traffic was wreaking havoc. No luck.
I made an expression to the guy trying to leave that I’d give it a second and try again. Nope. There was clearly spark and the starter was trying to do its thing. It was beginning to look like a fuel pump… on a Friday afternoon, over 300kms from home, right before a shoot for Street Machine! Then Michael stepped in and said he’d call a mate around the corner to come take a look. Barely a few sentences after having met the guy he was already in the processing to trying save my ass.
Before I knew it, his mate had confirmed what we thought and Michael was on the phone to another friend at a local auto parts store to secure a pump. Lo and behold, they had one left. Michael then sent another mate around to pick it up while I started shooting his truck. A plan was devised for he and his friends to replace the pump while I shot the Rodeo, then using his friend’s car to go shoot the main exteriors at a local turf farm, then by the time we were done, the car would be ready to go! I can’t say whether this whole process was more mind blowing than the truck itself or not, but I was truly humbled. Really, who is that nice?! In any other situation I would have been stranded in Sydney for the weekend while I waited for a mechanic to be able fix it for me, needing accommodation and lost time expenses. Even now, a couple months later it just blows my mind.
All this was happening in front of a backdrop of stress over a property deal that was rapidly going south at the time and I had both the realtor and conveyancer calling me all the time about this house owner being a PITA while I was trying to shoot. In the end, we pulled out of that purchase, but the last thing I needed was that distraction, let alone the car breaking down. So Michael and his mates really saved my ass. Anyway, I was hoping the Street Machine article would at least allude to the story in some small way as a thanks and to properly explain what kinds of dudes they are. Given that didn’t happen, here’s the story! Thanks for reading. 🙂
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